If you've ever opened your garage door to find your car simply won't fit because its too full of storage boxes, sports equipment and other clutter, you're not alone. Garages are commonly used as a dumping ground for various odds and ends that don't seem to fit anywhere else in the house, making it easy for them to become cluttered very quickly. If you're ready to declutter your garage once and for all, it can be done! Follow these guidelines:
Remove everything and purge
The only way you'll be able to set yourself up for a permanent organization system is to start from scratch, so the first step to a successful declutter is to remove everything from the space. All boxes, tools, bikes and any other miscellaneous gear should be taken onto the driveway or yard. Then go through everything, item by item, and decide whether to keep it, sell it, donate it or throw it away. There are several ways to stay organized during this process, but many people suggest having designated areas, boxes or bags for each set of items. If you're planning the declutter ahead of time, schedule a pick-up from the Salvation Army or another nonprofit for that day so you can get rid of your donation items immediately.
Decide what stays
After removing everything that will be sold, donated or tossed, take an inventory of what you have left. Even though you're keeping all of the items, it's now time to decide whether you're going to continue storing them in the garage. Some items may be better suited for keeping in the kitchen, guest room or coat closet, for instance.
Zone your garage layout
Take another inventory of leftover items, and divide them into categories, such as workshop equipment and tools, sporting goods and miscellaneous storage boxes. Check out your empty garage and decide what storage layout will make the most sense based on what you need to store. If you take time organizing your belongings into different zones, you're more likely to keep the space neat and tidy down the road.
Set up ample storage
This is perhaps the most important part: Come up with a comprehensive storage solution. One of the best ways to store items in your garage is to use a garage wall storage system that includes shelves, wall cabinets and various hooks to keep everything off of the floor. Wall mount storage is great because it can be completely individualized to fit your needs, so set yours up however you want it. Now that you've decided on zones, install things like a wall bike rack, hooks for tools and wall mount shelves accordingly. Always install more shelves than you think you need – you never know what else you'll accrue over the years that will need to be stored here!
Use the ceiling
If the goal is to keep everything off the floor, you should make use of your ceiling space. A few pieces of sturdy plywood can turn horizontal beams above the garage door mechanism into an attic of sorts. Use the space to store holiday decorations and other rarely used items.